Friday, May 31, 2013

China Buffet is now Yummi China Buffet - East Meadow, NY

I have written about China Buffet in East Meadow, New York a number of times. The last visit was not good as I wrote in this article. About two months ago we drove past the restaurant and it was closed. It appeared to be closed for good. Any time then that we past the restaurant it was dark.  A few weeks ago we drove by and the restaurant looked open again. We wondered what went on. There was no sign that said under new management or under new ownership. There had been no for sale or for lease sign in the window previously. It just appeared that it was back open as it was before.

One afternoon driving by we saw a new bright color awning over the door. The name on the awning read Yummi China Buffet. The name on the building was the same sign that it has always been that reads China Buffet. Interesting.

I looked for a website and found one for Yummi China Buffet at this same address. The website talked about Sushi and Buffet but there was no mention of any details about the buffet on the site. The site was very incomplete with not all of the pages working yet. The main focus of the website was to place orders on line for take out from the restaurant. There was a menu page and it showed overpriced takeout dishes (overpriced compared to other local Chinese take out restaurants - and in this area there are many).

I was intrigued. I decided that despite the bad experiences we encountered there during the past visits perhaps with this new name it has changed. We went on a Friday night.

We arrived a little after 7:00 pm and went in. The inside looked no different than it had before. There appeared to be the same worn and aged furnishings, booths, and tables that there always had been. The room was dark as it usually was - and there appeared to be few if any customers inside. A woman who looked familiar as one of the servers who has been here came up to us to seat us and before we went any further I asked my wife to look at the small printed sign that was at the front counter with the prices. It was small and I could not see it clearly from where I was standing. She said - "$19.99".  $19.99!!!!  There is no way that I was going to pay $19.99 for a Friday night dinner at a buffet that had no clear indications that it was any different than it had ever been other than the word "yummi" added to the name. I went up to the sign, myself, to see that the price is $19.99 every night for dinner! I looked at the woman waiting to seat us, shook my head, and turned around and walked out the door. We went to Chen's nearby with its extensive offerings with hibachi grill, sushi bar, etc., etc. for $11.99.

So this is a very short review. At this point, unless I find conclusive evidence that this restaurant has improved without my risking $40 plus tax and tip to find out, I continue not to recommend this buffet. I suspect that the lack of people inside on a Friday evening shows that my opinion here is shared. When we got to Chen's there was a five minute wait to get in and it was packed as always. And considering that International Buffet, which is close by to this buffet in the next town, is less than $20 on weeknights and just $5 more on weekends and offers an extensive buffet including lobster, that is a much better choice if you want a buffet that costs a lot but is worth the money. 

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